Know your pulse session a success in Saffron Walden

PUBLISHED: 11:47 06 July 2010

ABOUT 100 people had their pulse checked at Saffron Walden Community Hospital in a bid to safeguard against heart problems.

Two special ‘know your pulse’ sessions were held at the Radwinter Road hospital for people visiting outpatients to raise their awareness and understanding of cardiac arrhythmia, abnormal electrical activity in the heart that affects the way the heart beats.

Where appropriate people were offered an electrocardiogram (ECG), a simple test that records electrical activity in the heart. Six people were referred to their GPs, two with cardiac arrhythmia and the others with abnormal results on their ECGs.

The events were organised to support a campaign by Arrhythmia Alliance which aims to raise awareness and promote better understanding of arrhythmic conditions.

Melanie Grout, a staff nurse at Saffron Walden Community Hospital and organiser of the local know your pulse sessions, said: “The event was well worth doing as preventing just one person having a stroke is brilliant.

“Knowing your pulse is one of the most effective ways to identify if you might be suffering from a cardiac arrhythmia.

“We wanted to encourage local people to have a better idea of what their normal pulse is and to regularly check it so they can identify if there is anything unusual.”

Melanie thanked local shop Party Box for donating balloons to support the event.

Cardiac arrhythmia is a major killer. It is estimated that more than two million people in the UK have an arrhythmia diagnosed or undiagnosed. It can affect people of any age and if untreated can lead to sudden cardiac arrest, stroke and loss of consciousness.

As well as having the opportunity to have their pulse checked, visitors could also take part in a fund-raising tombola which raised £88.49 for hospital equipment.

To download a simple four step guide on how to take your pulse go to knowyourpulse.org

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